Lucid Thoughts

I’m a Soldier Video, Slave Revolts, Holocaust Escaping and Angel Over the City

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Tawk Love, in Character from I'm a Soldier Video Shoot

Tawk Love in character, by Jacob Schere



What does a slave revolt leader, a slave teaching other slaves to read, and a Jew on the run for teaching others how to make Molotov cocktails all have in common?  On first observation it would seem like there is no connection, but this is not the case. Check the rhymes and the beats for a further exploration.

Under the creative visual direction of Tawk Love I witnessed two of the video shoots for the slamming new I’m a Soldier video featuring Tawk Love, Mecca, Kimani aka Dirty Sandwich and Brimstone127.  I joyfully glad to be able to lend a hand on the set as we wandered through thick mangroves filming the Brimstone127 segment.   I watched Tawk Love as he was transformed into a warrior angel who stood guard watching over the city.

The music is smooth.  The message is rough served with a heaping helping of truth.  Check the video.  Watch it again and meditate on the lyrical content.

We are ALL soldiers.  We just have to decide which side we are soldiering for.



Brimstone127, in Character from I'm a Soldier Video Shoot


Brimstone127 in character, by Jacob Schere

Kimani in Character

Mecca in character, photo by Tawk Love


Kimani in Character

Kimani in character, photo by Tawk Love


Video Directed and edited by Tawk Love


It’s Got to be Organic Flow

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Organic Flow Trio
Organic Flow Trio

When the flow has got to be organic it is time to listen up and heed the word sound power of Organic Flow.  Our latest addition to the Lucid Thoughts section of Lucid Communication features the crew,Organic Flow.  They are currently based in Miami, but its roots stretch back to Grand Rapids Michigan, where two brothers, soon to be known as Choppy Blades and White Fang, who were more into athletics than rhymes discovered the world of Hip Hop.

I got the chance to hang out with the Organic Flow crew when I was down in Miami in spring.  We had a fantastic photo shoot.  Organic flow has just dropped their most recent album “Get Down Syndrome.”  The album is a collaboration of the current Organic Flow members and features some guest cuts by the Brass King and DJ Slice.  Also it features Sekajipo, Final Second on the mic.

I caught up with Choppy Blades the other day to get him to share his thoughts on his music and Hip Hop means to him.

What track first got you into Hip Hop?

Wow great question. I wish I could answer that question but I can’t because it wasn’t a song that got me into hip hop, it was the culture. Me and my brothers grew up as athletes. My parents always loved music in general so we were exposed to a lot of radio and singing in church and school. I just knew that I liked sports and music (and drawing too but mostly cartoon characters). Then my neighborhood brothers introduced me to rap music, dancing, and freestyle flowing. We would hoop in the drive way with mad random kids and blast any hip hop cassette tape we had. Not always in our drive way but if it wasn’t ours it was another kid within a 3 block radius. I just remember the culture taking over our neighborhood like the plague…lol. We all were sharing tapes, working on dance moves (actually I was watching cuz a white boy needed to learn he had rhythm), trying to get the freshest kicks, spitting freestyles raps, or hooping in the drive way while blasting our boombox. I loved everything about hip hop. I became hip hop and have never looked back.

When did you first pick up a mic or a turntable, what was it?

At about 14 or 15 I acquired one of those small but decent karaoke machines with a 2 mic hook up and dual tape deck. Me and my boy Shawn would record songs to instrumentals we got off cassette singles. I think I was 18 when me and my crew the Swollen Headz first hit the stage at Maxi’s in downtown Grand Rapids, MI. Straight ghetto club. They weren’t ready for a multicultural hip hop group. In fact, G-Rap in general wasn’t ready for that.

How did you come up with the name Organic Flow?

Well, the Swollen Headz broke up on good terms due to the fact that we all had different life situations that limited our ability to commit to a group. So me an my brother Dave (White Fang) decided to start a new movement. We simply wanted to encompass life into our flow, name, etc… Life comes from organic material and the message comes from the flow so we just combined the 2 to create “Organic Flow”.

Who are the members of Organic Flow?

Man it’s a long list. We have a motto, “once a part of Organic Flow, always a part of Organic Flow”. All the members of Swollen Headz as well as numerous cats in Miami: Choppy Blades, White Fang, Color Com, Everest, Doom, Mumra, Mean Malo, Leaf, G-Funk, Mimi, Spaz, DJ V, Viper aka Emerg, Disco D, & Fane. I hope I didn’t forget anybody!

What is the goal of Organic Flow?

We just want to stay true to hip hop culture. I could rant for hours about how hip hop has been pimped for every possible cent by an industry that cares nothing about it’s cultural significance or it’s potential social impact but it’s probably just best if we move on.

How does your music communicate with others?

I hope through emotion. Every rhyme that we spit has been written from an emotional perspective. The beats are made the same way. Whether it’s anger, joy, disgust, fear, anticipation, trust, pity, or shame, we just communicate what we are feeling. We know that our lyrics may be somewhat unorthodox, politically incorrect, offensive, or just plain weird. One thing you can always count on with us is that we don’t conform to anyone else’s vision of what we should be or even what hip hop should be. We try and stay honest with ourselves and sometimes that means offending pop rap lover. It’s not intentional but it is honest. You can’t please everyone and we know that very well

You are involved with PATH (Preserving Archiving and Teaching Hip Hop) why is this important to you?

Because of hip hop’s future. I can simply say that I am blessed to be able to volunteer for PATH. Brimstone127 and his beautiful wife Natty have made hip hop’s cultural preservation a priority in their lives and I wish to do the same. By teaching the elements of hip hop culture while instilling social responsibility, civic duty, and the importance of education to youth, they are making a difference not just in individual lives but in the way an entire culture is perceived. So many great people are a part of PATH too. Sekajipo Genes, The BrassKing, Trek 6, Supreme Aaron King, New Cre, and so many more are involved in PATH. I am just blessed to have worked with some of them. I appreciate you linking me with PATH but my contributions are miniscule compared to the people I just mentioned.

You also run the website Hip Hop News Miami, can you tell us a little about it?

Yes. is a community hip hop site that was designed to be an exclusive social networking tool for Miami hip hop artists as well as promote authentic hip hop culture while cutting off the fat of commercial pop rap. The site consists of an area wide event calendar that only showcases local events that won’t be confused with pop rap shows. There are blogs written about various topics pertaining to hip hop including event reviews and previews. There is a page dedicated to area artists videos and don’t sleep on the “knockouts” page where you can see me either getting knocked out or knocking some Miami hip hop player out. Hilarious. Also the legendary Miami hip hop crew PLAN BEATS has an exclusive page so everyone can stay current with what they are up to.

Where can we listen to your tracks online, and find out the latest on Organic Flow? 

You can find us at and download our album “Get Down Syndrome” for FREE at Also you can read my blogs on

Choppy Blades thank you so much for taking time to tell the Lucid Communication family about Organic Flow and where the real hip hop is at.


White Fang and Choppy Blades, Organic Flow

White Fang and Choppy Blades
Organic Flow Crew Shot

The Organic Flow Crew

Hawaiian, Local, American, and Soul Much More to Be Found in Sean’s Kitchen

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Sean Cooking Garlic Shrimp, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Sean cooking up some garlic shrimp at Sean’s Kitchen.


The cool Hawaiian trade winds have breezed their way into the heart of the old part of Urayasu City Japan.  Urayasu is just across the Kyo Edogawa River from me, and I spend a serious portion of my time there.  This posting represents another Lucid Thoughts first.  It is the first time that I have talked to a chef as artist.

Sean has a joyous easygoing soul.  His delicious Hawaiian Soul food is a mixture of, Hawaiian, American and Local.  All of his dishes are served in a comfy environment where customers are more guests than customers.  He takes time to chat with all the guests and prepares all food to order.

So much love goes into his cooking, and the cooking warmed my wife and my heart.  I started off the night with a shot glass of local Maui Okolehao [made from distilling the root of the Hawaiian Ti plant, back in the day it was a homemade moonshine].  It looked a bit like tequila, but had a sweeter aroma and finish.

Shot of Okolehao, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

shot glass full of the local liquor, Okolehao


First up was a tuna poke sprinkled with special Hawaiian  Salt.  My wife ordered the special of the day a shoy [soy suace] pork steak served with an Okinawan sweet marinade,  a side of rice, and the most amazing side of macaroni potato salad I’ve had in decades.  The flavors of the macaroni  transported me back to picnicking with friends and family on Oahu.  I asked  Sean what was the secret to the salad, he replied that most places use the Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise, but he uses Best Food’s Mayonnaise.  It the mayonnaise that gives it the real Hawaiian flavor.

Shoyu Pork Okinawan Style with Macaroni Salad and Rice, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Shoyu Pork with a scoop of rice and amazing macaroni salad.


I had a fresh cesar salar with some roasted chicken. The salad was simple and tasty just like my next door neighbor would make.  We delightfully munched on the treats and chatted with Sean about Hawaii and cooking.

For desert we had some homemade Haupia [Hawaiian style coconut jelly] that is traditionally made with Polynesian arrowroot.  It was a refreshing dessert to cool off in Japan’s hot and humid summer.

Haupia (Hawaiian Cocconut Jelly), Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Haupia, Hawaiian Coconut Jelly

It was a great dining and relaxing dining experience.  We felt right at home as our ears were soothed with Hawaiian tunes, and our hearts were warmed with some honest home cooking.

Today's Specials, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

The Daily Specials is where the magic happens at Sean’s Kitchen.


I caught up with Sean to ask him some lucid questions about his cooking life.



Aloha, Sean, Please introduce yourself to the lucid communication community.

Aloha, my name is Sean Shinshiro. I’m from Honolulu, Hawaii. I moved to Japan in 2004 as an English Teacher.


How did you first discover the joy of cooking?

I always loved cooking.  It wasn’t until I moved to Japan that I realized how my cooking could impact people in a positive way. I started to cook for people from Hawaii that are living in Japan. Someone told me that my cooking was just like home and it makes living in Japan a lot easier. Someone also told me that when she’s homesick, she comes to my restaurant and feels much better. Making people happy gives me great joy in my job.


I usually ask what was a photographers first camera, what was the first dish that you could cook?

My first dish I cooked by myself was either mango bread or beef stew. It was so long ago, I don’t remember. I wouldn’t call PBJ, saimin [ed note: a Hawaiian style noodle soup, similar to Japanese ramen], tuna sandwich or hotdog cooking, but we grew up making these kinds of lunches and snacks.


Hawaiian cooking is a combination of Hawaiian, American, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and Filipino. Am I missing anything?

Portuguese & Okinawan

How has the cultural mixing changed Hawaiian cuisine over the years?

Multi-Ethnic food started in the late 1800s / early 1900s on the sugar cane and pineapple plantations.  Traditional ethnic ingredients were very scarce, so people were forced to improvise with ingredients from other countries.  This was the start of what we call Local Food or Local Hawaiian Food.  It has changed to the point where most people can’t identify the ethnicity of the dish.  Multi-ethnic dish has expanded to include over half the world’s ingredients. Hawaii has restaurant categories such as Eurasian, Pacific Rim, etc.


Are there any secret spices or ingredients to Hawaiian cuisine? If so, what is your favorite?

Traditional Hawaiian spices are limited to only a few.  Some of them are Hawaiian salt, Hawaiian chili peppers, Kukui nut, etc.  I use them all.  Traditional ethnic spices are what distinguishes the difference.


What do you want people to experience when they eat your cooking?

I want people to feel like they are in Hawaii, even if it’s just for a little while.  I want them to experience the ethnic diversity and cuisine of the islands.  I want foreigners to recharge their batteries at my restaurant to make living in Japan easier.  I want to reduce homesickness.  I want to share my culture with everyone that walks in the door.


Your restaurant specializes in Hawaiian, American and Local. What do you mean by local?

Local is not traditional Hawaiian food.  I consider real Hawaiian food any dish that was pre-European contact (before Captain Cook.)  Local dishes are mostly multi-ethnic that was concocted in Hawaii.  Some of the most popular local dishes are Loco Moco, Spam musubi, etc.


How have you been supported by the Japanese and the Hawaiian communities in Japan?

I don’t have any budget to run a major advertisement promotion.  I’ve been surviving on repeat customers and referrals from customers.  I believe in the business philosophy that “The greatest compliment you can give a business is to refer a friend.”  In this sense, both the Hawaiian and Japanese community has supported Sean’s Kitchen.


What is your most popular dishes?

1) Loco Moco

2) Daily Dessert Specials

3) Poki

4)  Daily Specials


Tuna Poki, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Tuna Poki

Your daily specials always sound so amazing. How do you decide on your daily specials?

In the beginning it was mostly to introduce Local food to the community.  After a few weeks, Locals living in Japan requested specific dishes that you can’t find in Japan.  On a few occasions, I was craving some local dishes.  I’m at a point where Face Book has opened my restaurant to Japan and the requests for Local food specials keep coming in.


In America now there is the food truck phenomenon, you are currently selling your food at fairs and festivals in Japan. What do you like about doing the festivals?

I started out only selling Local and Hawaiian food at Hawaiian events and festivals in Japan.  Sean’s Kitchen wasn’t supposed to be a restaurant.  I intended it to be a kitchen where I could prepare all the food for Hawaiian events and festivals. The demand by Local Hawaii people craving local dishes was high enough that Sean’s Kitchen turned into a restaurant.  I have food booths at most of the big Hawaiian events in Japan.  I’ve also had food booths at the Urayasu City Matsuri [festival], Shin Urayasu Matsuri [festival], and some of the smaller events behind Urayasu Seiyu.

The best part about having Hawaiian food booths at festivals is watching how my cooking impacts people in a positive way.  Some events, we serve over 400 dishes a day.  In such a short period of time, so many people give me great feedback about how my cooking made them feel.  Many Japanese comment about their good memories while vacationing in Hawaii.  Many has also said my cooking is exactly like Hawaii and they want to revisit Hawaii again.

[editors note:  this is exactly how I felt.  Sean’s cooking, atmosphere, and energy all made me homesick for the Hawaii Islands.  I wanted that island pace that only someone who has spent time on the islands can appreciate.  I released a gigantic collective, sigh.]


Are there any new recopies you are working on?

Right now I’m not working on any new recipes.  Most of the dishes I serve, I’ve made before moving to Japan.  However, if any of my customers request something,  I’ll be more than happy to try and satisfy them.


Where can the Lucid Communication community find out more about you and Sean’s Restaurant on the internet?

Right now Face Book is the best choice.  You can like me at Sean’s Kitchen.  I try to update it a couple times a week.  I don’t know if anyone has written anything about my restaurant or about me on the Internet, but if you do find something, please send me the link.  [editors note:  there is also Sean’s Kitchen website.


Thanks so much for taking the time to talk with Lucid Communication.

Is there anything else you would like to say?

Sean’s Kitchen is not a fancy place.  My portions are satisfying at a reasonable price.  I like to think of it as a place where anyone living in Japan can come and hang out, make new friends, relax and have a good time.  It’s a small cozy restaurant with Hawaiian atmosphere and music.  I try my best to be flexible to accommodate any special requests from customers.  I also try my best to cook as close to my grandmother’s cooking and favorite local Hawaii restaurants.

Mahlo Sean!  Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about Sean’s Kitchen with the Lucid Communication community.  I know for a lot of my Tokyo friends coming out to Urayasu is a bit of a trek, but the comfy island atmosphere is well worth it.  Check Sean’s Kitchen Facebook page for the latest daily special.  I never know what to expect from Sean on any given night.

check the map on directions to Sean’s Kitchen

Local Hawaiian is Where its At, Sean's Kitchen, Urayasu, Japan

Hawaiian Teas, Liquors, and Beers at Sean’s Kitchen

Sean’s Kitchen has some slightly irregular hours, Generally they are open on the following:

Like us on Facebook for information about daily-weekly specials, upcoming events & catering.Closed: Wed., Sun., & National Holidays
Lunch: 11:30 am – 2:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri.
Happy Hour: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., & Fri.
Dinner: 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm on Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri.
Dinner: Saturdays 5:00 pm to 10:00 pmWe are closed every Wednesday, Sunday, & National Holidays
Check Facebook for specials and  latest schedule

Meet the Hitlers with Jerry Kolber

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Meet the Hitlers, Cast in Dressing Room During Intermission 2,NYC

Actors in costume during intermission at Meet the Hitlers.


On a cold spring evening in March a group of close friends, colleagues and family gathered in a little theater in the East Village, NYC to all Meet the Hitlers.  Yeah, I know I said Meet the Hitlers.  You all must be wondering what is going on in Lucid Communication’s mind.  That is the most absurd title  for a play in the history of absurd titles, but I assure you it fits this fabulously written satire by Jerry Kolber.

I have known Jerry almost as long as I have known my own brother.  I first read a draft of this a few years ago, and it made me laugh till I cried.  Forward to 2012, Jerry had a few read throughs of the play with the help of Josh Adler as director and he began to polish up the script.  When I heard that they were going to do a public read through of the play I knew that I had to be there to document and to just Meet the Hitlers for myself.

This read through wasn’t your ordinary read through.  In a typical read through the actors sit around a large table and read their parts aloud as the writer, producer, and director watch, and give the actors some feedback.  It is a way for the producers to start to get a feel of how it is to hear the written words spoken out loud.  This read through was more of a semi-staged production thanks to some staging by Josh Adler.

I watched and photographed a marathon rehearsal on the same day as the evening performance.  Josh and Jerry were on hand and they went through the play step by step with all the actors.  In fact, that rehearsal was one one of three that had been done before the curtain was raised.

I enjoyed watching the process of the play unfold before my eyes.  Even though all the actors kept the script in hand, they took on the their roles and I could see them transform before my lens.  Jerry has always showed me slices of New York culture that I never would have seen if it wasn’t for him.  This was another experience to add to that list.  Watching the inner working theater being on stage with the excitement.

At one point in the rehearsal Jerry pulled me aside and asked me to go over to the local synagogue to find a yarmulke for one of the characters.  Now this was a Saturday afternoon in New York City, I thought out loud on the Sabbath.  Who would be open?  I wandered over to the East Village Jewish Community Center to find the doors locked.  I Stop in over at Ricky’s on First Avenue seeing if I could find anything in their costume section.  Finally I remembered that there is the weekend Flea Market on Avenue A.  Rushed over had a look around, and talked to a lady asking if she had any yarmulkes.  She actually said that she did, but she didn’t bring any of them today.  A bit defeated, I headed back to the theater.  Right next to the theater there was a children’s used clothing shop.  I wandered in think might as well try.  I found a great knit cap. I bought it and showed it to Jerry, and he thought it looked to Muslim, and not Jewish enough.  Ah HA!  Why don’t we just cut a bit off the bottom, and it was perfect!  You have just got to love the theater.  There is just something electric about doing everything live and on the go.

This play tackles all the big issues:  race, sexuality, youth, getting old, revenge, destiny.  The list goes on and on.  I feel so fortunate to have witnessed this event with Jerry and a room full of friends.  I think it would be best to let Jerry tell Lucid Communication about his work and himself as a creative individual.

I sat down with Jerry the other day to find out more about the play and what it means to him, and the audience.  I want to thank him for taking the time out of his busy schedule to talk to Lucid Communication.

Meet the Hitlers, Jerry, Josh and SelfNYC

The technical side before the show.


Jerry please take a min introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community. 

Hello Lucid Communication. I’m Jerry Kolber, a New York City based playwright, television show creator and executive producer, and novelist.  Basically I consider myself a storyteller whose job it is to make my audience feel like they are in confident hands. Jacob Schere is one of my oldest, best friends. We met as a result of fighting in a pre-school playground at Temple Beth Am in Miami in 1976; our parents were called in to discuss our bad behavior, and both they – and we – became best friends.


The setting for play all happens over the course of a one-night dinner party.  Can please you tell us a little about each of the characters?

Meet the Hitlers is an ensemble piece where each character has a specific need that is met (or unmet) during the course of a dinner, and their needs are spoken (or unspoken) at some point in the play. I would say the characters represent the spectrum of my own needs and how vocal I am – or am not – about them; in another sense you could say they broadly represent, through character specificity, the spectrum of how people approach transitional moments in their lives.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben and Billy NYC

Ben and Billy

Billy, the gay vegan punk futurist teenage grandson of Adolf Hitler, seems to telegraph a need for attention and to be a leader, but really he just wants to be loved for who he is. Ben, the Rabbi’s son from next door, seems like the sweet closeted “other side” of Billy in his khaki pants and good manners, but secretly he wants to change the world – a desire he got from his repressed mother Sheila, who has turned to new age philosophy and self-empowerment seminars as a potential escape hatch from her stilted marriage to Rabbi Weinberg.

But really, Sheila needs a fresh perspective, a geographical and point-of-view refresh, which is provided by Carol, the black daughter-in-law of Adolph whose creative freedom Sheila admires and wants to emulate.  Carol wants to return to her studies of African history – and is also trapped in a respectful, but passionless marriage – and in the immediate sense wants to solve the mystery of why Adolph won’t die; her husband Robert seems like a headstrong authority figure, but all he really wants is for the tyranny of Adolph to end – but has no sense of who he is beyond that “want”, so he perpetually plays out the same pattern of want/don’t want to avoid the abyss of egoless identity.

Adolph himself is a gothic figure of darkness and mirth, feeding and growing off hate, withering under the presence of love, essentially an emotional thermometer.

Meet the Hitlers, Carol and Sheila, NYC

Sheila the Rabbi’s wife and Carol

What was your inspiration behind the need to write the play, Meet the Hitlers?

I believe the world can be divided perfectly into three kinds of people.  Those who believe (as a result of naiveté or denial) that everything is just fine.  Those who believe (as a result of direct experience, or early exposure) that the world is filled with evil just about to erupt. And those – a smaller handful – who see 19-degrees behind the stage curtain to what is really happening, a much more gray and less black-and-white version of reality – those are generally called artists, or visionaries, and it is their responsibility to help the other two groups of people communicate with each other and avoid killing each other.  I’m in that group, and take my responsibility as a translator seriously.

Meet the Hitlers specifically was inspired by my own direct experience of visiting Holocaust death camps, and realizing how much more complicated the moral and logistical situation was than the neat version we were taught in school.  It’s both incredibly easy – and incredibly hard – for a Holocaust to happen.  When I read an article in the New York Times a few years ago about the only living relatives of Adolph Hitler – the sons of his Irish nephew – living in Long Island, the play popped fully formed into my mind as a hilarious venue in which to explore racism, religious tolerance, apathy, futurism, hypocrisy, and the ever-present specter of Adolph.


Who did you model the characters come from? 

All the characters are some version of myself, with other specific models.  Sheila is a very exaggerated and lovable version of my mother, while Billy is modeled on a kid I went to high school in Israel with – who was very much Billy to my khaki-Ben-ish self.  Anyone who knows me knows that Ben couldn’t possibly be the high school version of me. cough-cough.

Meet the Hitlers, Robert, Carol, Ben and Billy, NYC

Robert, Carol, Ben and Billy


How do you envision the staging of Meet the Hitlers?

It will be staged in a dark, scary, over-the-top version of a German beer hall- one that just might have been an officers club for the Nazis.


What did you learn from the read through of the play?

I learned that most of what I write is even funnier to an audience than I hoped, and that as expected a small chunk of the audience found the play repulsive and insane (I actually got hate mail from friends of mine after, a first); a bigger section found it thought-provoking and kept talking about it for days after; and most everyone found it entertaining. I also learned that one section of the play in particular that deals extensively with the N-word went over much better than I feared it might.  I was actually biting my nails when that part started.

Meet the Hitlers, Josh Adler Directing Rehearsal, NYC

Josh Adler directs the actors during rehearsal



At one point in the play Billy says he wants to run of to Germany and “make art and start an intentional community” Ben replies, “I don’t even know what that is”, and Billy says “Neither does anyone else! But let’s go do it, together.”  I loved this moment in the play.  As a young Jerry did you want to run off and create a commune in Germany?  If so, why?

I had no interest in running off to start a commune in Germany in my mis-spent youth, but I did want to start some sort of art colony and still do.  In a sense, Jacob, you and I are already in that colony together – how many projects and ideas and how much support have we exchanged over the years in person and online, and ultimately what is an art community but a group of artists who support each other in whatever way they can. I did take 20 theater friends to Prague in 1992 to spend a summer making art there, and it was as exciting, inspiring, and difficult as I could imagine.  Would I say no to another summer with a bunch of 20-something creative people, making theater, drinking beer, and coming up with plans to change the world (which disappeared when my backpack was stolen) – no, I would not say no.   Please address proposals and invitations to me at Jerry’s Twitter Feed.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben Reads While Josh Directs

Ben reading the script while Josh Adler Directs


How do you describe your self as a creative person?

I am constantly growing more confident in my writing, my producing, and my creative leadership by example; while at the same time constantly berating myself for not creating enough.  It’s a vicious cycle of “I love you know matter what” vs. “You can do better than this and I’m only saying this because I love you”. Basically, my internalized creative persona is a tiny (well, tinier) version of my Jewish mother..  Hi Mom! But truly, my mother was and is an inspiring creative person who encouraged my sister and I, as well as many young people in the school where she taught, to pursue our own pathways. She has a great deal of clarity and is very vocal about injustice, both qualities I admire and emulate and that others frequently find annoying in me.

Meet the Hitlers, Sheila and Billy, NYC

Sheila and Billy


What visual artists inspire you?

Jacob, your work always inspires me, not only because you are so prolific and generous in the sharing of your work, but also because over the years you’ve developed an ability to capture a story in a frame. I always imagine you like a photography superhero, towering over everyone else in random Japanese neighborhoods, flicking your wrists and capturing these intensely personal narrative images. Your work taken as a whole has a quality of memory, like we are floating along in the conscious/subconscious of your experience as an outsider in Tokyo, seeing what you see with the meaning you ascribe to your vision also imprinted in the photos, but with enough space that we can either have the same “Outsider in Tokyo” experience as you – or bring our own myth and meaning to the image.

My father (Cliff Kolber Photography) inspires me because he embraced photography late in life, as a way of engaging others in his activism around the protection of the Everglades. He’s an environmentalist who uses his beautiful photographs of the outdoors and his essays to inspire others to care as much about the planet as he taught my sister and I to. Come to think of it, it was your dad Uncle Les who gave me that copy of Monkey Wrench Gang, that actually changed the way I thought about activism – and has a hand in the inspiration for the character of Billy in Meet the Hitlers!   Never underestimate the power of giving a kid a book.  Printed words are powerful.

I’m also into ancient Tibetan mandalas right now and have been incorporating them into my meditations and spiritual practice.


How has working in television helped you as a creative individual?

Television has taught me three things:

1. You have 30 seconds to get your audience invested in the character.  Just like real life.  If you don’t hook them then, you never will.  Give them a reason to love or hate the character – no slow burn, no blah characters – nobody paid good time (or money) to watch you take your time or hang out with people they could have hung out with anywhere.

2. Don’t be precious. If it’s not working, throw it out.  There’s 50 good ideas behind 100 bad ones, and the faster you can toss out stuff that isn’t working the faster you can get to what is working.   You’re not getting paid to pontificate.  And if you’re an artist who says, “I’m not worried about getting paid”, what that actually means is that you don’t care if you have an audience (or, you have a trust fund).  That said, when an idea resonates with you, own it and be confident in your instincts.

3. Tell a good story. Characters FIRST – story second.  No one cares about a good story that happened to a boring guy. But a great character can take a nothing story and make it special.  No matter how good your characters are, something has to happen to them. There’s a pattern to good story: A character you love or hate wants something; some obstacle prevents them from getting that thing they want; they overcome or fail to overcome the obstacle; the world is different as a result of their journey.  Blake Snyder’s book “Save the Cat” is the only book you ever need to read about storytelling.

Meet the Hitlers, Ben, NYC



If you could change the way television is made what would you be able to create?

I would create even more programs that are both entertaining but also make the viewer go “huh, I never thought of it that way”.  And a lot more boundary -pushing scripted work.


What projects do you currently have in development?

I’m Executive Producing a new series for National Geographic that delves into extreme manifestations of certain kinds of psychology.  I’ve also got a very new twist on a game show in the works, as well as a few other very exciting series projects for big channels that technically I cannot discuss just yet.

Meet the Hitlers, Rabbi Weinberg and Wife Shelia, NYC

Rabbi Weinberg and wife Sheila


Where on the web can we find out more about you and your work?

The best thing is to like my Miami the Novel facebook fan page, and follow me on Twitter. My personal page is which just redirects to Twitter for now. If you want to get up close and personal, friend me on Facebook and tell me “Jacob sent me”.


Thank you Jerry Kolber for taking the time to explore your creativity with Lucid Communication.  I know I am looking forward to seeing Meet the Hitlers in full production in the near future.  It is always a pleasure talking to you about creativity.

Meet the Hitlers, Whole Cast in Costume Live Performance,NYC

Live and in full costume, Rabbi Weinberg, Billy, Robert, Carol, Sheila, Ben, and Adolf


Meet the Hitlers, Cast in Dressing Room During Intermission 2,NYC

Actors in costume during intermission, Part I.

Meet the Hitlers, The Cast's Dressing Room in Intermission, NYC

Actors in costume during intermission Part II.




Isotta Dardilli: Queen of Italian Graphic Design and All Around Fabulous Person

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Isotta Dardilli’s Poster design for the COLORS of Money Poster, 2009

Todays’s Lucid Thoughts post is something a little bit different.  Rather than featuring a photographer’s work I have decided to showcase the work of Isotta Darilli is a queen of Italian graphic design.  She has been one of the coolest people I have met because of my involvement with Fabrica, and we have maintained an artistically creative friendship ever since our first emails about 5 years ago.

I met Isotta when she was working for FABRICA in Italy.  Fabrica is Benetton’s communication research centre lab where art is encouraged through various projects.  Fabrica is responsible for the amazing COLORS Magazine.  It is though a joint project of COLORS magazine that I first met Isotta.

I had submitted a blank COLORS NOTEBOOK for consideration in their collection.  I filled the the newsprint blank pages with stencils, photographs and words.  I was shocked to learn 6 months latter that mine had been chosen to tour with a COLORS Notebook world exhibition.  I was further dumfounded to learn that my images would be published in the FACES collection of the COLORS notebook project.   Because of this work, I formed a tight bond with Isotta.

Isotta’s heart is as big and fresh as her graphic work.  She doesn’t consider herself a photographer but she loves to take snap shots of her friends.  Her passion for graphic design has led her to take a short term teaching position this summer at Shanghai University of Fine Art, sharing her love of graphic design with Chinese students.

I invite my Lucid Communication readers to wander through Isotta’s website Isotype to get a full feel for her work.  I am inspired by looking at her images, and I am so thankful for the warmth and friendship she has shown me and my photography.  I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview Isotta for the Lucid Thoughts blog.


Please take a minute and introduce yourself to Lucid Communication?
Behind the scene I’m a bear. A beach bear, who loves the sound of the sea more than anything else. I’m lazy and I love to stay at home, watch movies and dream of an imaginary life. I love to spend my time with friends too, drinking red wine and smoking cigarettes.  I love also to waste time.

Where do you like best to take pictures?
I’m honestly not a good photographer, so any place could be good or bad, in any case my pictures will be bad.  I studied photography in high school, but I lost the knowledge on the way, because I have discovered art and graphic design.  I studied with an analog camera, developing my pictures in my bathroom (my mother was always annoyed about it, because she couldn’t enter in the bathroom for hours and hours).  Anyway, I really love to watch pictures from other people.

What was your first camera?
My first camera was a very nice camera and I still have it in storage somewhere.  It was a really old Nikkormat.

What camera do you like to use now, and why?
I don’t  have any cameras now, I just use an  iPhone.  I really love to take pictures with my mobile phone…eheh.

Does your design and your photography work together?
Yes, a lot of my work is connected with photography, but every time I have asked a good photographer to take the pictures for me.  I think that this is a good way to work.  I leave the photography to someone who can do his/her job really well!

editors note:  This is good news for all the photographers out there.  Isotta knows when to step aside and let a professional photographer take over.  In the end it will help take her projects to the next level.

We met because of your work with FABRICA. We first came into contact with the each other because of the COLORS Notebook, and later the FACES book.  You spent a long time working with FABRICA. What was it like working for them? How was it working with artists from all over the world?

Working at Fabrica was amazing!   I learned a lot of things, a learned to connect with people.  I understand the process of how people come to find a solution.  I learned that all around the world is full of very very very amazing people, young people, people that have something to say.  And, also, I discovered how nice  it is to share your opinion with others.  Surely with the help of other people your project becomes more beautiful.  And I also learned that it is always great to have fun while you are working!  If more people had fun while working the world would be much nicer place.

editors note:  Lucid Communication made a submission to the Colors Notebook project with little hope of anything coming out of my contribution.  I was shocked to find out 6 months later that my notebook had been selected to tour around the world.  It eventually led to the publication of the Fabrica book:  COLORS NOTEBOOK FACES. which featured a spread of Jacob Schere’s work, along with many other fantastic artists.

Isotta’s own COLORS Notebook

What did you learn from working with FABRICA on the NOTEBOOK project?
I already answered the first part of the question of what it was like to work for FABRICA. For the second part, WOW, it’s a very difficult question.  Colors Notebook was a project that I left a piece of my heart and soul with.  It’s very hard for me to talk about it, because someone above me took me out of the project to try to do it all himself, and the project died. Because you need a lot of  heart to do a project like that. So, it was my passion out of the box.  I don’t really know how to explain it, other than it really took a piece of my heart.

I’ve never seen so many people that loved to be part of a project.  And, all the people  give us such amazing contributions for free.  I understand that a lot of people all around the world does’t have any way to express themselves… therefore I wanted  to find a way for these people to be able to express themselves the best I could.  I would like to emphasize that I took over this project after my colleague, Lorenzo De Rita who invented it and then left FABRICA.

What do you want people to experience when they look at your images?
Are you talking about colors notebook?  That people become aware of what is happening beyond their reach.

How has digital design changed the design world and the way that you create?
Probably that you have more options to try to do something.  Everything is easier.  I discovered that many people are creative and before had no way to be.

You recently founded your own company, What are the goals for Isotype Studio?
I do not know, I’m currently spending a sabbatical moment (smiles!)But the energy here is fantastic, isotype is just a little part of WAX studio…We are only 7 people in total, but the space is place where very cool gypsy like people can come with their laptops and work on their own projects.  The people are free to interact and talk together about everyone else’s projects.

Is there anything else you would like to say to the Lucid Communication family?
Spend well your time because life is one and society needs solutions to be able to have a good life!

Where can we see more of your work online? (but after the sabbatical year I promise I will update it!!!)

I love his work, he give me a good energy to do my work!


I would like to express my deepest thanks to Isotta for taking time to share her thoughts and art with Lucid Communication.  I look forward to more interaction between us in the future.  In the meantime please browse her website, and take a look at a sample of her work below.

Tallulah Gallery Illustration


Tee Shirt Design for Nivea


The Faces book that Isotta curated, and featured work by Jacob Schere


Book Designs for Designer Block


CD Design for The Quick Brown Fox


Art Direction for the COLORS Money Exhibition


Art Direction for Canova Show for Fabrica


All images are used courtesy of Isotta Dardilli from her website 


Music Featuring Instruments: 5 Deejays and 5 Instruments

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

Music Featuring Instruments

This is the first Lucid Thought blog to feature music.  Today I will introduce the Music Featuring Instruments Vol. 1.  from some of the freshest DJs spinning in Miami.

The concept is deceptively simple.  First, Take five deejays and give them an instrument to inspire their mix and then cut an album together.  The Music Featuring Instruments Vol. 1 put out by Above Ground Music took a jazz approach to the album.  Little guidance was given to each DJ.  It was up to each DJ to interpret their instrument the best that they could.

From the Music Featuring sound cloud site:

This is a unique conceptual mix that showcases 5 of South Florida’s most innovative DJ’s. Each DJ was challenged to work with only one requirement – every track had to feature a designated instrument. There were no limitations on genre. The fusion of their unique styles and approaches makes this mix a relevant/necessary addition to any musical collection. This multi-volume project was conceived by Brimstone and Bekay, themed and executive produced by Miami’s own, Above Ground Music.

DJ Silverfoxx took on the blast of the horns.  Brimstone127 took us through a journey of the piano.  DJ Heron the chaka chaka of the scratch.  The boom of the bass was the Brass King’s vibe, and finally DJ Immortal picked up the ancient drum.

I attended the listening party at the Scratch Academy in the design district of Miami.  I was beyond jet lagged and I just pulled up a crate of records and kicked back to enjoy the tunes.  All five of the DJs were on hand to give feedback and talk about how the project had come out.  It was a journey through time space and beat.  Any music heads out there, especially those that love the Hiphop and the music that inspired Hiphop is going to love Music Featuring Instruments.

It was followed by an impromptu photo session to get some photographs of all the deejays.

I invite the Lucid Communication family to head over to soundcloud for a free download of the album, including the artwork by Trek Six.

And teaser video by Raw J

and now the DJs.


DJ Heron, Music Featuring Instruments

DJ Heron


The Brass King, Music Featuring Instruments

The Brass King


DJ Silverfoxx, Music Featuring Instruments

DJ Silverfoxx


DJ Immortal, Music Featuring Instruments

DJ Immortal


Brimstone127, Music Featuring Instruments



Vinyl Heads, Music Featuring Instruments

Music Featuring Instruments, Vinyl Heads



Lucid Communicating with Myself as a Child

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Jacob at 3 Years, Fairchild Gardens, Miami

I have been observing this image on my living room wall for the last few days.  Actually, I clearly remember this image of myself as a 3 year old from my last visit to miami.

I look happy in the image.  Having my picture taken was a complete mission when I was a young.  I absolutely hated it.  I would moan and complain, and run from cameras.  It makes me smile now because I know that I direct others in order to create interesting images.

But this image means a lot to me.  I look at this image and I love the casual pose that I am in.  I am just there relaxed, with a ready for action posture.  The tree and myself are balanced nicely in the image.  The shade of the trees of Fairchild Gardens (now Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden) balance with the hot sunny spots behind.

My mother told me that this image came off the first roll of test film on their new camera.  Which was probably a 35 mm Minolta.  Little did my parents know that photography would become the defining character of my life.

It all stated with a click of a shutter on a new Minolta camera at Fairchild Gardens.  I as a man of 40 years engaging in some lucid communication with myself as a photographic image as a 3 year old.

The Daily Practice of Thankfulness According to Sew On and On

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 51


I came across our newest addition to my Lucid Thoughts blog only a few years ago.  Valerie Kamikubo had a beautiful sense of color and playfulness in her work; however, her Flickr name and blog name say it all: Sew On and On.

Valerie’s expression mainly takes the form of textile and fabric arts.  This is what led me to follow and become inspired by her Thankfulness Everyday Project (2011).  The project began on January 1st, 2011 and was completed on December 31, 2011.  I began to eagerly await the images as they were uploaded to the Internet.

I could completely relate to her physical manifestation of thankfulness.  I could bear witness to her thankfulness as it grew longer and longer as the beautiful strips of fabric adorned the back yard wall of her house.

We all should be thankful.  We all should feel blessed for what we have received.  There is a Japanese concept of shugyo (daily practice).  Which is basically some training that an individual completes on a daily basis in order to improve one’s life.  This could be physical, spiritual or both.

In Valerie’s project her physical actions have manifested in such sublime beauty that we all should keep our thankfulness in the forefront of our thoughts on a daily basis.

We all, myself included, need to meditate on giving thanks.  Whatever shape, prayer, habits that it entails, we should make thankfulness part of our process for growth as individuals, and as a greater community.

I knew I wanted to know more about Valerie and her project so I sat down and wrote up some questions for her.

Please take the time to explore her world, thoughts, and images.

Valerie please introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community.

I am a soon to be 59 year old woman who works primarily as an R. N. case manager for an HIV/AIDS program in Southern California. I have always had an interest in art and started out my college life back in the seventies as an art major where I met my future husband who was also majoring in art at the time. At one point my major switched to nursing, but I’ve always led a creative life and nurtured and fed myself on the arts.

What inspired you to start the Thankfulness Project?

Towards the end of 2010 I knew that I wanted the discipline of working daily on something, and had been thinking about fulfilling that desire by possibly doing something along the lines of a sketch or photo each day. I was also thinking about my general approach to life and realized that there was much in my life that I needed to be thankful for.

I had decided that I would look for at least ten things each day to write down onto my laptop. The “thankfulness” aspect of it started out as a very personal thing. It wasn’t something that I really thought about sharing with others. However, as a seamstress I had a huge collection of colorful fabrics, and so the thought of combining thankfulness with the textiles came to my mind as a way of documenting the things that I was grateful for (ten strips each day).

It was at a time that the thought of sharing the whole aspect of the project seemed the right thing to do. We all have stuff that we can be thankful for, no matter what our circumstances. It really became a way of documenting beauty in my life.

What were your stylistic influences in its construction?

One of the things that I’ve liked about doing this project outside, and about much of installation art in general is the temporal aspect of much of it. I have enjoyed watching the elements have their effect upon the installation. Watching the fabrics fray and fade has brought new beauty to it for me. Seeing how it transitions across the two walls that it’s hung upon, from newer to older as the year has progressed, has been quite satisfying to me. I like this idea of “wabi sabi” in my work.

Where there times that you felt it a struggle to continue?
For the most part, no. Once I committed to it, I was surprised at how easy it was to keep going. This may be in part due to the fact that I was sharing a bit of the experience with others online through my blog, facebook, and flickr, so I had to keep going or recognize that I would fail publically.

But I also found that as I kept at it something within me changed, and I looked forward to the reflective time with God each day when I would look back on my day with thankfulness and gratitude. I found myself excited to start my day anticipating the beauty that I would see, and became more in tune to see it, I think.

Now that the project has finished, has its meanings changed?
I don’t think so, but I think that I’ve discovered some new significance that being thankful plays in my own life after having completed this project. Even though it was over after a year, my plan was to continue with the idea of being thankful in a similar, yet very different way. I was thinking more along the lines of possibly writing out a thankfulness haiku each day, or to sketch daily something that I was thankful for. So far, I haven’t done this and it feels a bit like floundering without the daily devotion of gratitude that I had become accustomed to. I’m thinking quite seriously about the importance of this now.

There is something else that I’d like to mention, and that’s how important a role others like yourself have played in this as I look back on it. When I started this project, as I mentioned earlier, it was really just a personal thing that I was attempting. But I met a lot of new people along the way that have offered a lot of encouragement and affirmation as I have worked on it. I am overwhelmed by the kindness of people from all over, like you Jacob, that I have not met personally, but have come along side me and supported me as I’ve done this project.

Is there anything you’d like to share?
If I were doing this interview audibly, you’d be hearing me chuckle right now, but I still have another wall that I can put some strips on, and if anybody wants to add a personal bit of their own thankfulness, my fabric and Sharpie pen are at the ready. The installation will be up at least through Easter of this year, or maybe longer, I’m not sure. Just email me and I’ll add you to the project.

Where on the web can we see more of your work? (flickr, website, blog)?

Valerie’s entire Thankfulness Set can be viewed on Flickr

and the beginning of the project on her blog.

it all started with this image from January 1st, 20122

Thankfulness Installation


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 14


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 50


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 22


Moon Rising


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 35


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 39


Thankfulness Installation ~ Week 52



Valerie’s entire Thankfulness Set can be viewed on Flickr

Doug Craft: an Convergence of Photography, Collage and Music

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

The Anatomy Lesson, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

Today’s Lucid Thoughts post I will introduce and peek into the creative world of Doug Craft.  It actually quite difficult to define him.  He is not solely a photographer, because he also is a collagist.  He is not only a collagist because he loves music and has an extensive collection of vintage guitars.  And on the seemingly non-creative front he is a scientist to boot too.  Doug has the ability to combine all of the elements that influence in the collages that he creates.

Doug Craft is an amazingly gifted artist that I met back on the wild west days of Myspace.  I am starting to think that I should have called these posts, the Lucid Thoughts of the Wild Cyber West.  His interests in the golden ratio, and sacred geometry were some of my first lucidly communications with each other.  He had taken one of my photographs into Photoshop, and had laid a series of lines and boxes over the image to show that I was seeing these ratios, even though I wasn’t consciously aware of them.

Doug clued me in to being more conscious of these design elements when was in the moment of composing images.  My compositional style was able to take giant steps as a result from my interactions with Doug.

Doug has an exceptional photographic eye; however, I really became interested in how he used his eye to construct simple, beautiful collages.  He avoids the trap of many collagists that think more is better.  He allows his strongly constructed compositions communicate to the viewed though his guidance by mathematical relationships between the space in the collages.

This might all sound a bit too scientific, but there is creativity to be found in the scientific process too.  Doug’s exploration of his microphotos explore the natural world that can only be seen with the help of scientific equipment.  These microphotos  then become an element in his collages.

Looking at Doug’s collages I often feel as if I am peering into his past.  He often incorporates photographs that he has salvaged from his own family albums.  I peer into a black and white photograph of group of women in the 1950s superimposed over a surreal microphoto background.  All of these diverse elements working in harmony to create some fantastic collages.

I am so pleased to bring Doug Craft’s work to the Lucid Communication family.  I hope that you all will take the time to read through his thought provoking interview and explore his website for more inspiration.

EARTH – Elements 1 3(phi) 2004-002, digital collage,
aspect ratio = 1: 2.854
©2005 Doug Craft

Doug, please introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community.

Hi, I’m Doug Craft, an artist, musician, and scientist who lives and works in Colorado. I worked 34 years as a research chemist for the Department of the Interior and have been alternatively pursuing art and music since high school. Since retiring in 2008, I am working mostly on music and art in my basement studio. I play bass in an improv prog metal band, Slag Heap, with Max Shiffman (drums), Tristan Cargnell (guitar) and E.J Posselius (guitar, synth). I am married to Randa, and have 2 cats, Henry and Mookie. Life is good!

When did you first become interested in photography?

I was 16, and like taking up the guitar around the same time, I had hopes of impressing women with a camera. Sad but true!

What was your first camera? And do you still have it?

I started shooting on an Argus C3 my parents had in the closet. It was a 35-mm rangefinder camera that had taken maybe 4 or 5 rolls of film and I decided to go for it. I learned how to guesstimate exposure and how to print black and white using the Kodak series photography pamphlets that were sold in camera and department stores in the early 70s. I was able to use a darkroom at a nearby Navy base where they allowed military family members access. They provided everything – developer, fixative, timers, enlarger. After a period of shooting with the C3, I became more involved playing music, and drifted away from photography. My mom may still have the Argus somewhere in her house.

I think of my “first” camera as the SLR I bought in 1978 after I had been working as a chemist for several years. It was an Olympus OM-1n and that was my main camera for many years and many rolls of film. It was/is an awesome and dependable camera! This was the viewfinder where I became a decent shooter, and began to see the world in a composed frame. I continued shooting the OM1 – mostly Agfa Scala (an ISO 200 B&W slide film) – from the late 90s through 2003, when I went digital and decided to sell off all my medium format and 35-mm film cameras to get my Nikon D-70 and some Macro lenses. I have fond memories of my OM-1 and how clean and crisp it felt to shoot – but film is disappearing – and I was glad a guy who was a die-hard film buff bought it.

(editor’s note: it amazes me that so many photographers all started out using some cheap camera that was lying around the house, or were given one by a family member.)

How did photography lead to making collages?

In my case, photography did not lead to making collages. But my collages have definitely led to more photography.

I began making collages after taking several classes from my art mentor, Duncan Stewart, an art professor at the University of West Florida. Duncan is still active as a working artist, a great teacher, painter, and collagist.

Back then, I was making collages using images cut and pasted from magazines. Copyright law was much more reasonable and lenient then and there was a generally forgiving legal attitude towards collage artists. Judges ruled against Coca-Cola when they sued Rauschenberg for trademark infringement for using an image of a coke bottle in one of his collages. That would just not happen today. When I decided to “get serious” about art in 2000 and joined CORE New Art Space, a Denver co-op gallery, I found out that intellectual property law had changed big time. I eventually realized that I would have to generate my own image stock and figurative image material – which is why I seriously expanded my photography activity since 2000.

Where do you get your source material for your collages?

Back in the day, I would look for old magazines in antique stores – I tried to find higher quality magazine paper that would lay flat when pasted, and keep an open eye for technical images and microphotos I would see in lab magazines at work. I still have boxes of materials I collected and cut out over the years. I can’t use them nowadays without legal risk, but I can’t toss them out either. Since 2000, I have either shot my own collage materials, or found public domain sources for imagery I was drawn to. There are some excellent public domain sources now for higher resolution images that meet my image needs. That was not true even 5 years ago.

I obtained a set of large Landsat satellite images of earth from space from the US Geological Survey, the NASA Earth from Space site, and images of deep space objects and planets from the University of Massachussetts/NASA 2-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS), and the NASA space telescope and planetary probe sites. The earth and space images have great fractal qualities that are also seen in microphotos and macro photos I have shot since 2000. I have also created my own mathematical fractals using the Ultra Fractal and Fractal Extreme programs. These images are used as abstract/fractal backgrounds in my figurative collages, and as collage of background elements in my Golden Ratio collages like the Elements in Golden Ratio series.

Salt of the Earth No. 2, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1: 2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

For figurative collage objects like people and things, I started going through my own stock of family photos and portraits of friends taken over the years, and some other public domain sources like a calendar of historic photos from my agency, or my father’s cruise books – yearbook-like mementos the Navy published for the crew and families after each 6-month sea duty deployment. The National Archives images are a great source for historical photos of people and industrial scenes and I have been cutting out a collection of them since October using Photoshop. I obtained lots of images of aircraft from the US Air Force and Navy web sites, and several years ago I built a bunch of scale model airplanes, doing research to replicate accurate historical markings and trying to make the models look stressed like real combat aircraft. Since October, I have been shooting these model airplanes in my studio using a green screen and digitally cutting out the resulting images.

What equipment do you use to make your microphotos?

I used polarizing microscopes, and dissection and phase contrast microscopes that were available for me to use after hours where I worked as a scientist. The geologists identify minerals in thin flat rock samples called thin sections that are mounted on a slide using a polarizing, or petrographic microscope. Polarizing filters in the optical path cause crystalline materials in rock thin sections to exhibit vivid colors. I shot many rock thin sections that our geologists prepared for rocks used structurally in dams all over the western US. Since I had access to a chemistry lab, I also prepared my own slides of chemical crystals and shot them on the polarizing scopes.

Benzoic Acid Melt Crystal 2006-056, Microphoto
image size = 3400×2100, aspect ratio = 1: 1.618
©2006 Doug Craft

I started shooting thin sections in 2000 using a 1971 Leitz DiaLux-Pol polarizing trinocular microscope with a Leitz/Wild 35-mm camera and a Nikon Labophot-Pol polarizing microscope with a Nikon 35-mm film camera. Focus on these microscopes is accomplished using a t-mount eyepiece that is an approximation of the film plane you use in an SLR. With the very narrow depth of field in optical microscopes, focus using a t-tube was hit or miss. I eventually got an eyepiece adapter, a ScopeTronix MaxView eyepiece adapter that allowed me to use my D-70 and focus accurately using the film plane. This improved the focus situation somewhat.

I shot a bunch of butterfly wings using an Olympus SZH-10 dissection microscope with a t-tube adaped Nikon FG 35-mm film camera, and focused halogen specimen surface incident lighting. Prepared biological specimen slides from Accu-Scope were photographed through a Zeiss Standard 16 Phase Contrast Microscope with an integrated Zeiss M-35 35-mm film camera. You can see additional details on these scopes here.

I have also used an Epson Expression 1680 high resolution flat bed scanner as a microscope. You simply place a leaf or other object on the glass, and scan a small area at 2400 or 3600 dpi. Don’t tell anybody about this – it is top secret!

(editor’s note:  It always make me smile when artists and creative types take a piece of equipment and bend and torque its use in a new direction.  Doug, I will try to keep your use of the scanner a secret, but since it is our there, I might just have to give it a shot.)

What are the themes in your collages. Planes, personal family history and nature all seem to play a part. Why is that?

I have two different thematic types of collages. One type I call the collage of backgrounds, where fractal and abstract images are combined using proportional squares and Golden Rectangles. These collages generally combine natural fractal images from varying scales of magnification, and may use specific themes like my Solar Mandalas, or my Elements in Golden Ratio series that used images of earth, air, fire, and water. I would say that nature and Sacred Geometry dominate in these collages, and what I am expressing is the beauty and perfection in nature and the deeper spiritual purpose of art.

Red Sun Mandala 2006-001, digital collage
image size = 4700×4700 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:1
©2006 Doug Craft

My figurative collages are generally more playful because the figurative objects have symbolic associations and can be combined in ways that suggest mystery, irony, or paradox. Most of the images I am drawn to reflect my life-long interests, influences, and background. I think it is important for artists to create work that is grounded in personal experience in our time and culture. Kandinsky said “Every work of art is a child of its time.”

I grew up in a Navy town, Pensacola, Florida, and my father was a sailor who worked on airplanes. Growing up there were always noisy Navy planes and helicopters everywhere. I was a WW-II junkie and built model airplanes and was always drawing pictures of airplanes. So my attraction to airplanes is long standing. They may represent many positive and negative things – the freedom of flight, patriotism, protection, empire, warfare, waste, mass murder, destruction, masculinity, and technology. Anyone who has been to an air show and seen the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds knows how viscerally exciting – and intimidating – military jets are. They are awesome and terrifying symbols of our age and civilization.

Many of my collages combine feminine and masculine images that speak on some level to the duality of biological life and sexual reproduction. Many of the images I am processing now from the National Archives are of women working in aircraft factories in WW-II, which brings up a different take on the masculinity of airplanes and warfare.

Fractal F-86s, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

War images, industrial facilities, and atomic detonations are another theme that keeps coming up for me. These images arise from my experience as an environmental scientist where I looked first hand at data showing that we were destroying the environment, wildlife, and the fragile ecosystem that supports life. I also have studied Peak Oil and energy depletion, and the danger to mankind from resource wars that spiral out of control is another issue that really concerns me. These admittedly disturbing collages are a combination of my way of dealing with the bad news, and sounding a warning of the danger we face as a species.

(editor’s note:  Doug is showing his side as the caring scientist.  His detail research into peak oil is something that should be read by anyone who cares for the world we live in.)

I am also in a more reflective period these days. After my father died in 2008, my mom gave me a big box of family photos that I scanned. This led me to write a family history and re-connect with cousins and relatives I had not seen in over 30 years. I have also been processing many of the family photos for inclusion in collages. At this stage of my life, death is no longer an abstraction, and the meditation on my own origins, family, and friends who have died is another theme in my figurative collages.

Some artist’s collages are very complex, yours tend to be simple and direct, what are the reasons for simpleness?

I like to use strong formal composition in my art work, and I find that strong composition and eye movement are enhanced with fewer objects. I compose the collages so that the figurative objects draw the eye along proportional power points and diagonals within the Golden Rectangle (aspect 1 : 1.618…) or Square Root of 5 rectangles (1 : 2.236…). Since I am often using abstract/fractal backgrounds that are complex, I prefer to use only one or two figurative elements so the images do not become too busy.

You have a background in science, music and art, How are they all related?

Well, I see all three as creative vocations and have actually discovered much commonality between the supposedly different disciplines. I think it’s inaccurate to contend that science is left brain and art and music are right brain. All require both sides of the brain and depend on creative inspiration that is ultimately spiritual and deeply mysterious in origin. I have recently had a chapter I wrote on this very subject accepted for publication in an academic book that should be published in the spring. If your readers are interested, they can download a PDF file of the final draft of this paper that discusses the commonalities between art, music, and science. I also discuss the Golden Ratio, fractals, and the holographic metaphor that form the basis of my theory of art.

Trouble at the Job Site, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

I love how your microphotos and your found images are intertwined, Why is it important to include some of your original images in your collages?

As I mentioned, I am now using many more of my own images because of intellectual property issues. And, many of my own microphotos, macro, and landscape images are better than what is available in the public domain. But ultimately, the collage stands on its own – the fact that I actually shot a landscape, microphoto, or image of a person is less important than whether the collage succeeds as as a work of art.

Do you approach music and your art differently?

When I am playing in my band the creative process is collaborative, so it’s really different from making art which is mostly solitary. If you are talking about my composed music – that process is actually very similar to collage. I compose my music using Ableton Live and Acid Pro software on my laptop. These programs are designed to work with loops (pre-recorded musical passages) to create musical collages. Some loops are copyright free, some are public domain, some I record using real musical instruments, and some I create using Ableton Live. So the similarity to how I make digital collages in Photoshop is striking.

Who are your artistic influences and why?

Besides my mentor, Duncan Stewart, my biggest influences are artists and musicians who work with a sense of the spiritual in their art and their aesthetics. That would include Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Mondrian, and Max Ernst from the art world and musicians like John Coltrane, Steve Roach, Jon Hassell, Steve Tibbetts, and Robert Rich. Compositionally, I love Edward Hopper’s paintings and really enjoy Gerhard Richter’s work. Gerhard also likes airplanes!

I also owe a great deal to the scholarship and writing of Joseph Campbell, and my philosophy professors, Ralph Hunt (aesthetics), and Robert Kleinman (eastern philosophy and cosmology). Campbell exposed me to the aesthetics of James Joyce and Thomas Aquinas, and the notion that art could be a valid spiritual path in life.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am in the middle of digitally cutting out a massive load of images I have collected over the past 30 years, and have a large body of new collages on the way. Several new series should be appearing this spring. The next big art project I have been planning is a series of Golden Rectangle paintings based on some of my microphotos. Musically, I will be getting back to composing with Ableton and Acid and continuing to play bass with Slag Heap.

For the Lucid Communication community, where can we see more of your work? (website, social networking, music, books?)

I am on Facebook, and still have a Myspace profile (but I am not active there anymore). The best place to see my work and listen to my tunes is on my websites:

Art website – Doug Craft Fine Art

Music website – Doug Craft Fine Art Music

Any closings, comments or Lucid Thoughts?

Thanks for the opportunity to toot my horn, Jacob! I would just pass on that the most important thing artists and musicians can do is to regularly work, create, and to develop a habit of working on their craft. Artists are the counterbalance to a lot of negative energy coming to a head for our civilization. Our contributions may not get monetary recognition, but they are extremely important and needed.

I have to agree that the world is in the midst of an unpredictable upheaval and art with play a role in the outcome.  We do art not to make a fortune, we make art because I don’t know what else I would do to make sense of this crazy mixed up beautiful world.

I would like to thank you Doug for taking the time to delve into your convergence of photography, collage, and music.  I feel better knowing that there are good people like you in the world.  You, personally, have been a positive influence in my life and I am thrilled to be able to share your views and your work with Lucid Communication.

Doug curated a selection of images to be included for the Lucid Communication community.  I again invite all who view Doug’s visual explorations by spending some time on his website.

EARTH – Elements 1 3(phi) 2004-002, digital collage,
aspect ratio = 1: 2.854
©2005 Doug Craft

Red Sun Mandala 2006-001, digital collage
image size = 4700×4700 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:1
©2006 Doug Craft

Golden Rectangle Coil 2008-004, Photo collage,
13″ x 21″ framed, aspect ratio = 1: 1.618
©2008 Doug Craft

Benzoic Acid Melt Crystal 2006-056, Microphoto
image size = 3400×2100, aspect ratio = 1: 1.618
©2006 Doug Craft

Benzoic Acid Melt Crystal 2006-043, Microphoto
image size = 3400×2100, aspect ratio = 1: 1.618
©2006 Doug Craft

Phantoms, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1: 2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

Salt of the Earth No. 2, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1: 2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

The Anatomy Lesson, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

Trouble at the Job Site, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

Fractal F-86s, digital collage
image size = 4700×2100 pixels, aspect ratio = 1:2.236
©2012 Doug Craft

All images contained in this post are ©2012 Doug Craft, permission to post them was given to Lucid Communication by Doug Craft 2012.

Frank Lothar Lange: Master Portrait Photographer

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

In today’s Lucid Thoughts post I am going to introduce the amazing German portrait photographer, Frank Lothar Lange. Also, today’s post is livicated to my father, Leslie Alan Schere on his birthday, who has always supported my photographic journey.

Frank Lothar Lange is another incredible photographic soul that I met back in the wild cyber west days of Myspace.  We took an instant liking to each other, and each others photographic expressions.  Frank was probably the first professional photographer I had come into contact with.  Frank was able to see into my images and feel my expression.  For that respect, Frank will always have a special place in my heart.

He has come to take on the role of my spiritual photographic big brother.  When I mentioned this to Frank, he responded with an animated laugh.  But it is completely true.  I have come to him for advice, as much as to admire his beautiful portraits.

Frank has an gifted ability to interact with his subjects through his lens.  He is able to show a facet of the sitter in a new way, and cause the viewer of the photograph to connect with them on a lucid level.  It doesn’t matter whether he is photographing a super star like Yoko Ono, our his über-ultra-superstar, Karlchen, his tomcat.  All of his images let the viewer into the world of who he is photographing.

I personally go through phases when I want to engage in photographing humans, and there are times that I become more interested in the traces, and clues that human beings leave behind.  When ever I gaze into one of Frank’s portraits, they always give me the encouragement to go out and communicate and engage in interaction with people through my camera.

We are living in an image driven world.  In this global society we are constantly bombarded with mediocrity.  Frank consistently creates images that provoke emotional responses from the viewer.

Frank first interacts by digging into his soul to be able to reach into his subject.  Next, he extracts something that we have never seen before.  After editing he then selects the images that are shown to the world.  The viewer then is drawn into Frank’s view of the subject by provoking an emotional response.  This is the key to a successful portrait.  Does the portrait show us something of the soul of who the image has been created?

Frank’s images have the ability to communicate with us, his viewers.  The images communicate soul slices of the subjects that he photographs.  One click of shutter.  One pop of the flash, and bundles of emotion allow us to enter into human being’s sphere.

I was fortunate to engage Frank in some Lucid Communication on the topic of himself and photography, to find out more about his masterful expression using photography.


Frank, please introduce yourself to the Lucid Communication community.

My name is Frank Lothar Lange, I have been working as a people and celebrity photographer for 28 years. For my work, I have travelled all around the world and have met many fascinating personalities. I live with my family in Essen, Germany.

When did you start taking photographs?

I have always loved to take photos, even as a kid. I started to look into photography professionally at the age of 15, when I got my first darkroom and developed my first prints by hand.

What was your first camera?  Do you still have, and or use it?

I still own all my cameras, I would never sell any of them. For my first sacrament, I was given a Kodak Instamatic 50 by my aunt.  I was eight years old then. Later my father allowed me to use his Kodak Retina Reflex. At 15 I fulfilled my dream of a Canon AE-1.

(author’s note: I am now convinced that Frank is my spiritual photographic big brother.  I too was given a 126  film cartridge camera as a birthday present.  In my case it was a Magimatic X50, a cheap plastic knockoff of the Kodak Instamatic 50.  Although we are separated by some years in our ages and by many thousands of kilometers, we have a bond.)

Why are you attracted to photography?

I just loved to look at magazine covers from all over the world. I used to collect them and hang them up the walls of my room as a kid. I always wanted to create something like that myself.

You have some amazing portrait photography. You have photographed Lady Gaga, Phil Collins,, Karl Lagerfeld and many more, How do you approach a new portrait? Especially when photographing a celebrity?

Before shooting I look at every picture of that person that I can possibly find. In the end I try to do something entirely different from everyone else before me.

What has been you most memorable photo shoot?  Why?

That would have to be one with Usher in Cologne. I still sell those pictures, although they are more than ten years old. He is such a fascinating artist with great body language and a big love for the camera.

(author’s note: The Usher photograph is amazingly tender and soft.  You can see it on Frank’s website in his works section.)

What is key to capturing a person’s persona, personality, and soul in a portrait?

Deliberate provocation!  Seriously!

What should someone feel when they look at your photographs?

Suspense, curiosity, and polarization.

What would you like to accomplish with your photography?

It would be cool to know, that somewhere on this earth in one hundred years, there will be a photo that I have taken up on someone’s wall.

Collaboration, and communication between photographers is important to you, Why is that?

To me this only applies to business maters, I never speak to any other photographer concerning artistic matters.

Why is the One Day One Photo Facebook group useful for communication between those that love photography?

This group does not cohere to my work directly, it is an independent web project. You do not even have to be a photographer yourself to join. It consists mainly of daily expression photographs taken by members that they post in the group. This mosaic forms a work of art in its own right.

How has digital photography, and the Internet changed the photography world?

The amount of bad pictures has tremendously increased. Unfortunately good pictures are worth much less nowadays.

Many young people have become interested in photography since it has become digital. What makes a good photographer?

A good photographer sees the invisible. I advise young photographers to go to a lot of galleries and museums to learn this. Photography is Greek for “Painting with light.”

(author’s note: I can’t agree with Frank more.  A photographer must be able to see the world that others are not able to see.  It is though this site that the viewer who gazes into the photograph is able to visualize the photographers eye.)

For me, editing, is one the hardest parts of being a photographer. Can you tell me a little bit about your editing philosophy?  You once told me that you put your work up on a wall for weeks, and if you got bored of an image, it was then discarded for an exhibition.  Could you tell us a little bit more?

Usually I work for magazines and I don’t have so much time so, it’s quick and dirty.  You can be sure  that 90% of the time they they choose a picture to print that I don’t like so much.

That has happened to me too.  What if you were getting photographs ready for an exhibition?

Then, it’s a long process for weeks.  No joke,I need weeks to find the works for the show.  Some pictures are the same as food, after some weeks they lost their spirit.  They are like spiritual food that must nourish the artist.

What is your internet presence? (website, Facebook, etc?)

Franks Lothar Lange’s Facebook

Thank you so much Frank for taking the time to talk with the Lucid Communication family.  May you keep on producing the beautiful and expressive works.  Frank curated a selection of his portraits to share with Lucid Communication.  I strongly encourage you to drop by his website, and Facebook page to see more of his images.

Phil Collins



Lady Gaga

50 Cent

Karl Lagerfeld

Bill Tokio


All images in this blog posting are courtesy of Frank Lothar Lange, and are Copyrighted Frank Lothar Lange, All rights reserved.

Firehouse Takeout Mozzarella and Mushroom Burger

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

This post in Lucid Thoughts will be my first that doesn’t explicitly cover something in the photographic world.  In fact this just fall into the category of something that I am just crazy about, and I wish all could get a chance to try one.

I am not a big burger fan, but I do enjoy a good burger.  In fact I never really cared much for a burger until my brother-in-law found Firehouse burgers written up in a magazine, and brought them home about 7 years ago.  Firehouse forever changed my mind about what a burger should be.

The first time they came home 7 years ago, they were packaged in these ultra nostalgic white paperboard boxes.  The name Firehouse had been stamped by hand along with a check off list of what treasures laid inside.

From the look alone I was amazingly impressed.  Then once I got my first bite I was hooked.  I have been to their shop in Hongo 3 Chomei many times, and on rare and special occasions my wife picks some up as takeout.  Firehouse always makes it onto the best burger lists in Tokyo and usually the owners of new restaurants often had learned the ropes by having worked  there.

The owner never really seeks the limelight, and nowadays there is so much competition in the burger market.  Firehouse can lay claim as being one of the first and the best.

This was one of those  occasions.  Their takeout boxes have changed to a more custom red box that I suppose is to remind the customer of hot red fire engines.  I preferred the more nostalgic white boxes, but the treat that awaited me on the inside was as good as ever.

The combination of the grilled mushrooms mozzarella, 100% beef and the homemade buns really hit the spot on a winter evening.  The amazing burger was joined by a side of fries and onion rings that the wife and I split.  To be honest I loved it, even if  I don’t really want to eat burger all the time.  For special comfort food occasions, Firehouse is the best.

For those of you in Tokyo and have never been check them out.  And for those of you who are on your way, If you get tired of Japanese food, try the best burger I’ve ever had, in Japan or America.

Firehouse stop by!

Firehouse Take Out Burger, Best in Tokyo

Samm Bennett and his Chance Encounters in Japan

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Samm Bennet is an amazing musician.  He is at home with just about any instrument that can vibrate and be used to make music.  His specialty is as a drummer and a percussionist.  Making those beats, to soothe our souls.  Drumming is a mimmic of the human heartbeat.  Boom, boom, it goes on and on, telling the world that we are alive.  We are full of life.

Many of you may not know this but Samm is an amazing photographer too.  I actually knew him first through his eclectic images of his wanderings in Tokyo through his Flickr stream Flapjax at Midnight.  I really dug his way of seeing the Japanese world.  His eye to pick out the ordinary beautiful urbansacpes of Tokyo attracted me to his work.  I didn’t come across images of temples and shrines, i came across Nobori (advertising flags)  and Humans melding into an image of chance encounters.  Or there were amazing details of architecture that were landscapes in the macro details.

We decided to meet up and check out an area neither of us had photographed before in Sugamo.  Sugamo is famous for the elderly crowd to get their red power inner garments. I first met Samm a few years back because of Flickr.  It was a great time wandering around and watch each others photographic styles in action.

I really want to focus in on Samm’s Chance Encounters ongoing series as of this posting includes 421 photographs.  These are images that he has framed between the inhabitants of Japan and their advertisements, posters, and two-dimensional art.  He has created a visual language of how we react, or do not react to the environment that we are in.  Conversations (lucid ones) occur in these images, and at other times the two-dimensional humans are ignored by the flesh one.  I has so impressed with this series that I was inspired to create a few Chance Encounters of my own, as an homage to Samm’s style.

I got a chance to talk to Samm Bennett about his photography the other day.  His replies can be found below.

Please take a minute and introduce yourself to Lucid Communication.

My name is Samm Bennett: I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, and have lived in Boston, Massachusetts, New York, NY and, since 1995, in Tokyo, Japan. I am a musician (singer and songwriter, drummer, percussionist, and player of certain idiosyncratic string instruments like the stick dulcimer and the diddley bow, as well as jaw harp and mouth bow). I am also an avid photographer.

(Author’s note, Samm is a very avid photographer.  He is constantly uploading images to his flickr stream.  Samm has such vitality as an artist)

Where do you like best to take pictures?

I take pictures pretty much anywhere and everywhere: from macros of weathered tape affixed to telephone poles to street scenes to walls to shadows to reflections to objects… to what I call “chance encounters.”

Tell me a little about your chance encounter images?

I spend a lot of time riding the Tokyo rails, going to my various jobs and gigs, and I’m in a great variety of different train stations all around the greater Tokyo area. The stations are a world of advertisements: there are ads everywhere, and many of them rather large ones, like billboards. I began to be intrigued by how actual living, breathing humans, waiting on trains or moving through the stations, interact with the human representations in the advertisements. The two-dimensional humans that are forever trying to sell something to the three dimensional humans: they are like two different species, yet they somehow complete each other. Even though they are in fact essentially oblivious to each other’s existence! I document the way these species coexist: how they complement or battle or challenge or ignore one another. These interactions are sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes touching, sometimes banal. An epic drama, played out daily, over and over again, by millions of souls across the vast network of the Tokyo rail system.

Do you see a connection between your music and your photography?

Not any glaringly overt one, but there is a connection. I’m just not entirely sure of how to put it into words!

(Author’s note:  the connection that I see is pacing and rhythm to Samm’s photographs.  In addition, Samm often posts multiple images that are slightly varied from each other that generate patterns, and variations on a theme, much in the same style of jazz riffs.  Samm also will post before and after like images, of humans passing through a space.  This is using the medium of photography to be a story teller, and to create a timeline to his images.)

What are you trying to communicate to the viewers of your images?

This varies widely, depending on the type of photo we’re talking about, because I actually produce a pretty big variety of images, and these have varying objectives. But if I had to define some sort of overall intent, I’d say that I hope to introduce to the viewer something that is in some small way “fantastic”. And I mean the “fantastic” that resides in the “mundane.”

(Author’s note:  there is such beauty in the unseen mundane beauty in the world.  I believe this is the reason that Samm and I get along so well, because we view the world through similar shaded lenses.)

What is your internet presence? ( we can see your music, works, videos, anything you want to share with us)

Polarity Records



Samm is a prolific photographer, and narrowing down some images to share with the Lucid Communication has been a difficult fast.  I do ask that you check back in with Samm now and then to see what new images pop up on his Flickr stream, and if you are ever in the Tokyo area, make sure you pop in on Samm playing live somewhere in the crazy nights of Tokyo.

he'll eat you next...

multiple personalities

for me? thanks!

his three girlfriends

under my thumb

our eyes met, as the train whisked you away

fresh victim

don't go disrespecting Tommy Lee_2

all the above images are copyrighted Samm Bennett 2011, with permission to post.

My homage to Samm Bennett’s Chance Encounters

Double O's


Japandemic and the Drying Persimmon Garden

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

I came across one of Japandemic’s images in Flickr the other day that just struck me like a thunderbolt.  Japanandemic describes themselves as “smart sexy cool japan what the other guys won’t show you…in bite-size bits, like sushi.”  I like that.  There website is a fresh mash up of the cool, the weird and the beautiful of all things Japan, and Japanese.  Japandemic is based in Kyoto and Osaka in the Kansai area of Honshu.

Japandemic has a way of showing you another side of Japan.  The part of Japan that you might just walk past if you are not looking with an open mind and heart.  They have a great sense of humor and their site should be looked at by anyone who is interested in Japanese culture.

The image that struck me was one of theirs that had been taken in Kyoto.  There are strings of drying kaki (persimmon) hanging in front of a persons home.  And what really drew me into the image was it included a super tight garden.  It was one of those gardens that I have been photographing in Japan recently.  A garden in such a tiny space, yet it was bursting with life.  All and all it is a beautiful images and I am thankful to Japandemic for allowing me to post this beautiful image in Lucid Thoughts.

Please take the time to browse their Flickr page and the Japandemic website.

Enjoy this amazing Japandemic Image.
kaki (persimmon) hanging to dry in front a Kyoto house.

kaki (persimmon) hanging to dry in front a Kyoto house. Copyright Japandemic 2011

Double Lucid Communication Pasting

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

I wasn’t sure where I was going to post this blog posting, but in the end I decided to put it in the Lucid Thoughts category.  The story goes a little something like this.  A few days ago I get a slew of comments on my Lucid Communications website.  It was great to see that someone combed though my images and picked out sever blog postings to comment on.  This was soon followed up by an email from the photoblogger Harold Maison, over at Black Man in Japan photoblog.  A another expat american photographer, like myself, only he is based in the Shibuya area of Tokyo.

We exchanged some emails back and forth and finally emailed me asking if I by any chance had done some posters.  He attached a an image of Double Lucid Communication wheat pasting posters that he had photographed in Shibuya a few years back.  I was amazed!  Those posters were some that Lucid Communications had put out in Tokyo going on just about 5 years ago.  It was such a synchronous moment.  Here I was doing by blog.  Putting my work into the sometimes endless black holes of cyberspace where Harold comes along and finds my blog.  Not only did he find my blog, but it turns out that he had photographed some of my street art work from years ago.

This illustrates the power that photography has over us.  It was the ability to create communication.  Which is the reason this site is called Lucid Communication and NOT Jacob Schere’s Photography.  Because the process of photography is about interaction.   On one level it is how humans create and communicate with other over space and time through images.  It is important how Harold captured a moment in history that is no more.  That moment only exist in the pixels of his camera’s image.  These pixels had the ability to transverse time and space and connect two expats in Tokyo.  To me that is absolutely astounding.

These are the reasons that I keep on doing what I do.  These are life’s chances that present themselves to us at seemingly random moments in our life.  Make the connections.  Engage each other in that Lucid Communication.

Please take a moment and browse through the website Black Man in Japan.  See Tokyo through Harold’s eyes.

Double Lucid Communication Lens Hand, Street Art, Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan

photo courtesy of Harold Maison, of photoblog

In case you missed them a few years back, a few other lucid communication, pastings in Tokyo

Wheat Pasting m2c, Spotted in Tokyo, Japan

m2c poster pasting 22


mira m2c 04, wheat pasting posters

Wheat Pasting Tokyo

Brancolina: Geometric Architecture Squared

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

This is the third addition of the Lucid Thoughts section of the Lucid Communication website.  Today I am going to introduce the photographer who we all affectionately call Brancolina.  I have known Brancolina for about 4 years and she has been kind enough to share my images on her website, that I am thrilled to return the favor and spread her wonderful square images with the Lucid Communication viewers.

Brancolina is an amazing photographer based in Europe and is strongly influenced by the architecture that she comes across in the city.  Her images always show the trace elements of humans beings.  Meaning, that she is most interested in how humans construct their world around them.  This idea is very similar to mine.  In fact, I like to show the work that humans have created, especially when it comes to their private dwelling spaces.  Brancolina’s interest in showing the spaces in often more public settings.

One thing that I really love about Brancolina is that she fully supports the artists that she enjoys.  She curates exhibitions on her Red Square Gallery site, which, she was kind enough to include a selection from Lucid Communication on Geometric Wabi Sabi.  In the Flickr world Brancolina strives hard to write thoughtful provoking comments.  It is always a blessing to receive a comment from Brancolina, because I know the time and energy that it takes to truly absorb an image to be able to write something thoughtful.

She has just released a new book entitled Urban Stories available on blurb.  It is a collection of images that show the city in its beautiful and sometimes changing cities.  In the Brancolina’s lens the geometry comes alive.  The square framings of the city include such lovely details, and allow the viewer to meditate on what the urban environment first of all means to Brancolina, and more importantly how the view then related to her images.  I strongly recommend that you take the time to explore this book.

Urban Stories available on blurb.

I wanted to know a bit more about Brancolina; therefore, I decided to interview her to find out more about how she creates the images that she does, and why building a community of photographers is important for her.

JS – Where is your home?

B – I live in Antwerp, Belgium.

JS – What is it about geometry that attracts you?
B – I am educated as an architect, it is the essential part of my profession to invetigate forms and proportions in the process of designing architectural space. I love geometry and its principles, so I tend to express this affinity in all my creative projects.

JS – Your images (and mine) rarely feature humans, why is that?
B – From the aspect of urban photographer I am more interested in how humans are creating the city’s architecture and adding personal marks to urban environment than in people’s direct presence on the scene. With my photography I often explore architectural structures as boundaries that delineate and define the urban space, on desolate places significant fragments and proportions of urban elements that compose the scenery are better visually emphasized.

(author’s note:  I find this idea intriguing.  It isn’t necessary to show humans in a photograph to be able to show how they have a presence in images without them being there.  I am fascinated by her exploration of the edges of public and private space.  How do humans interact in these spaces without having to be shown.)

JS – Who are your influences?
B – When I joined Flickr in 2008 I met some photographers who inspired me to take a different approach to photography, getting to know the Rhizome group from Fernando Prats and Jef Safi, and Azurebumble’s Cream of fugu and contributing to Y SIN EMBARGO magazine’s issues especially encouraged my photographic activity.

In the last two years I was influenced by photography lessons that I took at Antwerp’s Academy of Fine Arts, but this year I decided to take a pause and independently continue with my photographic activity by following my own ideas and concepts.

(author’s note:  Learning and studying how to do photography is an important step for any photographer to take, but eventually the artist needs to be able to create a pathway to artistic expression that is uniquely theirs.  I am proud to see Brancolina starting to forge her own way.)

JS – What do you want viewers to know about your photography?
B – My main motivation to be busy with photography is the artistic need to express myself with images. I like to create photographic visions that intrigue and excite the observer with more than just the prettiness. I think an artistic photo should act like a visual catalyst for emotive, aesthetic or intellectual impressions that affect mind of the spectator.

JS – You give support and exposure to other artists. Why is that important to you?
B – I’m doing that as a sign of respect for some of my favorite photographers who expose on Flickr and because I enjoy curating. In Shadé group the chosen members were curating thematic exhibitions by selecting photos from the group’s pool, and then those photos were awarded by other members of the group with a goal to publish the best voted works in the annual photo book (edition 2009 and edition 2010). After 2 years of administrating the group and realization of photo books I decided to close it and try a different project.

Since March 2011 I have been administrating the Red Square Gallery, where I am organizing exhibitions of architectural and urban photography. Curated selections of 6-8 images accompanied with the artist’s short interview are presented about 3 times a month on the gallery’s blog, which is channeled via a ‘sister’ gallery on Flickr. I could have probably organized those exhibitions in the galleries on Flickr, but I decided to transfer them to the Wordpres platform, because I like how photos look there, and I hope that WordPress exposure could benefit artists to get extra exposure outside the Flickr domain. It is my goal to create an online directory of photographers by introducing a selection of their works with an interview that reflects their artistic point of view.

JS – What is your internet presence? Web sites, links etc?
B – For the time being I am mainly exposing on Flickr, my blog and Tumblr, my photo-books are available via Blurb publishers.. The website is currently under construction.

My photos have been published in the following internet locations:
Hypo – X – Series, A digital curation by Alan Wilson
Y SIN EMBARGO #16, Du-champ-issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #17, Mess-up mess-age issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #18, Inside-out issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #19, super#F issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #20, Extimacy issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #21, Ink or link issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #22, cap-it-all/off issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #24, In-betwen the net issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #25, Just a memory issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #26, Uroborus issue
Y SIN EMBARGO #28, you/END/me issue
Y SIN EMBARGO # 29, end/s issue
U.K’s The Building Mag
Photographer #8 photos + interview
on Azurebumble’s blog Aesthetic investigations: Brancolina: photography pr. 1, Brancolina: photography pt 2, Breaking the darkness, Blue room and Symmetrical spaces.
DOZE#5, Visionär issue
cameraobscura online photography magazine

JS – If there is anything else you would like to say?
B -Thank you very much for inviting me to introduce myself on the Lucid communications. Greetings to all who will be reading this.

I too would like to thank Brancolina for taking the time to answer my questions and help us to be able to better explore her photography.  She has been an inspiration to me in a way to approach internet communication as a collaborative effort.  I will always be thankful for the lucid communication that we have been able to create together.

Photography is my passion, I love everything about it.  I am happy to share my explorations with a beautiful human being and photographer Brancolina.

I will present a small curation of her images below.  I invite you all to explore her Flickr to see her world through her lens.


untitled feeling


this way ...

ceci n'est pas une banane

keep it cool

the images in this blog posting are copyrighted by Brancolina.

Just a taste of Brancolina’s world.  The geometric shapes that inhabit and live on in the cities.  The lines squares, circles all dance and sing in her photographic squares.  Again, thanks again Brancolina for giving us the beauty that you see in the world.

Copyright 2007© m2c LucidCommunication - Jacob Schere